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BFI

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The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK. We combine cultural, educational and industrial roles, bringing together the BFI Film Fund, film distribution, the BFI National Archive and the BFI Reuben Library. Established in 1935, the BFI Archive holds one of the largest film and television collections in the world. Our 5-19 education scheme is delivered by Into Film, an organisation providing a unified UK-wide film education scheme.

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The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK. We combine cultural, educational and industrial roles, bringing together the BFI Film Fund, film distribution, the BFI National Archive and the BFI Reuben Library. Established in 1935, the BFI Archive holds one of the largest film and television collections in the world. Our 5-19 education scheme is delivered by Into Film, an organisation providing a unified UK-wide film education scheme.
2001: A Space Odyssey RE KS3
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2001: A Space Odyssey RE KS3

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This lesson for key stage 3 RE students provides an opportunity to explore ideas about what the creation of the universe using the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Skills of exploration and imagination should be encouraged, and it is important students understand that the lesson is not about trying to find the right or wrong answer.
Flash Gordon History KS3
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Flash Gordon History KS3

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In this lesson for key stage 3 History, students will be introduced to the concept of dictatorship using the film Flash Gordon (1980). Students explore the implications of living in a dictatorship through watching the film and creating a role play about overthrowing Ming the Merciless. Learners will be encouraged to use melodrama to explore the motivations of the various parties involved in Ming’s dictatorship.
The Glitterball English KS3
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The Glitterball English KS3

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In this lesson for key stage English, students study the film The Glitterball (1977). They then construct a creative piece of writing based on class discussion and the learning of the lesson, contextualising the events of the film to show a critical reading of the text. Students are given the opportunity to consider how we interact with unknown ideas and concepts, and how to recognise the difference between safety and danger.
Nosferatu - KS4/5 History Lesson 2
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Nosferatu - KS4/5 History Lesson 2

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BFI Education presents ‘Gothic in the classroom’ – new resources to accompany 13 Gothic film titles. This collection of resources and lesson ideas has been created by teachers for a range of subject areas from English to Art to Science. This lesson is designed to be relevant to KS4/5 history students studying Germany in early 20th Century.
Sci-Fi Silents English KS3 1
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Sci-Fi Silents English KS3 1

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Part one of a three-part creative writing lesson using three silent sci-fi films: Mister Moon (1901), Trip to the Moon (1902), and The ? Motorist (1906).
The Day the Earth Caught Fire Sciences or Geog KS3
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The Day the Earth Caught Fire Sciences or Geog KS3

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This lesson for KS3 science allows students to take on the role of a science journalist for the Daily Express and collect information on the events that take place in the film The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961). This could be used as a single lesson or as a set spanning lots of different science skills and knowledge. It would work well for revision purposes, and each task can be made simpler/more complicated to suit the individual needs of each class.
Shakespeare's Country (1926)
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Shakespeare's Country (1926)

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This charming silent film from the Wonderful Britain series indulges in some Shakespearean puns to illustrate the environs of Stratford-upon-Avon ("Here's Bideford - a typical Shakespearean Hamlet"). Picturesque cottages abound in Wilmcote and Shottery, together with some suspiciously well-placed urchins. And of course, there's Anne Hathaway's cottage, "secure against the worst of Tempests"! Wonderful Britain was a follow-up series to the more successful Wonderful London (1924), also directed by Harry B. Parkinson. While its predecessor often delivered unconventional views of the city, Shakespeare's Country largely follows the well-trodden tourist path. These early travelogues reveal the root of the genre in straightforward actuality - most of the shots here are a single take of a picturesque scene.
Film-The Tempest: Silent Shakespeare
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Film-The Tempest: Silent Shakespeare

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At just over 12 minutes long, this film is considered the most visually imaginative silent British Shakespeare film. Examination of this film can be supported by the English, art and music teaching notes. Percy Stow's The Tempest (1908) takes an innovative cinematic approach in that it attempts a complete précis of the entire play staged specifically for the cameras. Explanatory intertitles link 11 brief scenes, shot both on location and in the studio, the latter being used to stage some elaborate tableaux reminiscent of the French fantasy film pioneer Georges Méliès. Indeed, the scene where Prospero summons up the tempest is particularly impressive! Although Shakespeare's original text is missing, this beautiful short film still manages to captures the spirit of the play very effectively.
Film-The Merchant of Venice: Silent Shakespeare
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Film-The Merchant of Venice: Silent Shakespeare

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This 1910 Italian film adaptation of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is just under 10 minutes long and is supported by teaching ideas for English, music and art. It contains most of the key elements from the play, however omits the caskets and the business with Portia's ring. This film includes scenes shot on location and was directed by Gerolamo Lo Savio. Note: Unfortunately the BFI Archive's print is incomplete and ends with Shylock appealing to the court after Portia's warning not to spill ‘one drop of Christian blood’. The missing scene showed Shylock’s punishment by the court.
Film-The England of Elizabeth (1957)
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Film-The England of Elizabeth (1957)

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This 1950s film depicting Elizabethan England is 26 minutes long and offers viewers insight into the period. The film features numerous Tudor artefacts from paintings to manuscripts to maps, as well as showing stately homes and ruins, and would be useful for understanding a 20th century interpretation of this period. By viewing the historical objects, it can also be used to contextualise Shakespeare’s plays. It considers the England in which Shakespeare wrote and is supported by a score by Ralph Vaughan Williams and a script written by historian A. L. Rowse, the David Starkey of his day.
Film-St George's Day at Stratford-upon-Avon (1915)
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Film-St George's Day at Stratford-upon-Avon (1915)

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This short film, only one minute long, gives a snapshot of celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1915. Accompanying teaching notes use the film to spark conversations and inspiration for English, history and music. Residents of Stratford-upon-Avon are treated to a double dose of patriotic celebration every 23rd April, when St George's Day coincides with William Shakespeare's birthday.
The England of Elizabeth (1957)
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The England of Elizabeth (1957)

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This 1950s world-view is more appealing to some modern viewers than others, but there is no doubting the craftsmanship of this film. The England of Elizabeth should be very dull, given how much screen time is devoted to shots of static objects: stately homes and ruins, paintings, manuscripts, maps and other Tudor artefacts! That it's thoroughly engrossing is down to three factors. The most obvious is the lush score by Ralph Vaughan Williams, alternately majestic and thrilling. The second is the high quality of all other elements of the production, characteristic of British Transport Films: painterly colour cinematography, skilfully unobtrusive editing, and a soothing, well-spoken commentary (by Alec Clunes, from a script by historian A.L. Rowse - the David Starkey of his day). Finally, the opening scenes are crucial to the impact of the whole, immediately putting viewers into the right, contemplative state of mind. Low-angle or slightly off-centre urban shots of modern feet and cars suggest a bustling yet fleeting, fragile present, preparing us for brief immersion in history.
The Poet's Eye: Tribute to William Shakespeare (1964)
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The Poet's Eye: Tribute to William Shakespeare (1964)

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A tribute to William Shakespeare made in connection with the quatro-centenary celebrations. Spoken extracts from Shakespeare's works (read by Stephen Murray) blend with visuals of scenes in Britain today which illustrate his references to countryside or childhood, and the sea or to the taverns and trades of London. Includes sequence of Olivier as Henry V and is accompanied by period music on the lute by Desmond Dupré.
Film-The Poet's Eye: Tribute to William Shakespeare (1964)
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Film-The Poet's Eye: Tribute to William Shakespeare (1964)

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This film is just under 20 minutes and acts as a tribute to William Shakespeare made in connection with the quatro-centenary celebrations. After viewing this film, students could compare this tribute from 50 years ago with tributes that are taking place worldwide in 2016 for the 400th anniversary. Spoken extracts from Shakespeare's works (read by Stephen Murray) blend with visuals of scenes in Britain today which illustrate his references to countryside or childhood, and the sea or to the taverns and trades of London. The film includes a speech by Sir Laurence Olivier as Henry V and is accompanied by period music on the lute by Desmond Dupré.
Film-Memorial Procession in English Country Town (1915)
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Film-Memorial Procession in English Country Town (1915)

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Just under 30 seconds long, this short film gives a glimpse into celebrations in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1915. Accompanying teaching notes use the film to spark conversations and inspiration for English, history and music. Residents of Stratford-upon-Avon are treated to a double dose of patriotic celebration every 23rd April, when St George's Day coincides with William Shakespeare's birthday!  Marked in much the same way for 200 years, the town’s inhabitants carry wreaths and flowers to the Bard's tomb in Holy Trinity Church.